Buying an apple tree at Portobello organic market

The cold weather has retreated. The sun is out, the sky is clear and we made it to Portobello Organic Market today. The elder daughter, who I think She who knits calls kidlet, went full tilt for the treasure hunt, leaving She who knits trailing in her wake and buying a few groceries here and there.

Family at the market

I went straight to the apples. Was a bit disappointed to see that there were few left, and no Egremont Russet or Katy. However I did buy a Fiesta, which was on my reserve list, and which has every chance of becoming a fine tree.

the last few trees

Brought it back home on the bus, managing not to jab anyone:

tree on a bus

Only one branch was damaged on journey home & the graft looks good. I won’t be satisfied until it’s in the ground and established, but that’s for later…

graft between rootstock and scion looks good

A really useful tip I learned was that leaving bare-rooted trees in compost or leaf mould is a good substitute for heeling them in when it’s too cold to even dig. This gave me the perfect excuse to use the spare half a bag of compost that has been sitting round. Now it’s waiting for the thaw:

tree waiting to be planted

As a bonus: I’ve now got a sledge! The bag’s from Redhall walled garden, which works on organic principles, so I guess this bag is going to be much safer than the agrochemical bags we used as kids…

low tech sledge - a thick plastic bag


2 thoughts on “Buying an apple tree at Portobello organic market

    • Glad to hear they grow well in Edinburgh. I’m still deciding whether to plant it in our garden or at the allotment. This page ( says the tree grows in a bizarrely straggly fashion. How’s yours look?

      And this page ( says how to get larger apples from a Fiesta!

      If you like apples on the large size then thin Fiesta apples as they form and you can end up with fewer but much larger apples.

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